ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

Christianity In Nubia

CHRISTIANITY IN NUBIA The Nubian Church is unique among the Middle Eastern churches in that it started and prospered in an atmosphere of complete political independence. Some scholars believe that Queen Candace of the Ethiopians, who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles 8:27-39, was the Queen of Meroe (ca. 37). However, it was …

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John Of Shmun

JOHN OF SHMUN A sixth- and early seventh-century bishop of Shmun and writer of two Coptic works in praise of Saints MARK and ANTONY. There is no other evidence about him in Coptic literary tradition except for a passage by the historian SAWIRUS IBN AL-MUQAFFA‘ and John’s own mention in one work of his contemporary, …

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Laying-On Of Hands

LAYING-ON OF HANDS The laying-on, or imposition, of a bishop’s hands on a person’s head on the occasion of his nomination to the priesthood or diaconate is a rite first mentioned in the Old Testament and has been practiced in the church ever since the apostolic age. Before the Ascension of Christ, He appeared to …

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Bishop

BISHOP A clergyman of the highest order, senior in rank to priests and deacons. The Coptic term (episkopos) and the Arabic (usquf) are derived from the Greek and Latin versions (episkopos, episcopus), which, etymologically, mean “overseer.” Bishops are successors to the apostles, and, from the historical point of view, the episcopate is a continuation of …

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Baptism

BAPTISM Origin, Features, and Administration of Baptism Baptism is the sacrament by which the recipient is regenerated through triple immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, enters into union with Christ and the body of the church, and receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is …

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Anaphora Of Saint Basil

ANAPHORA OF SAINT BASIL Anaphora normally used in the Coptic church, and one of the three retained in Coptic service books when others were abandoned in the Middle Ages. The expression “Anaphora of Saint Basil” is used to designate either (1) that anaphora within its strict limits (from the dialogue introducing the eucharistic prayer to …

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Papyrus Collections

PAPYRUS COLLECTIONS Since the seventeenth-century scholars and travelers to Egypt have brought manuscripts to Europe. The papyri, whether they came to light in spectacular finds or as individual discoveries, whether they were uncovered in scientific excavations or through the diggings of thieves, went into papyrus collections, either directly or through dealers (see PAPYRUS DISCOVERIES). Not …

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Genuflection

GENUFLECTION The act of kneeling in prayer as a sign of reverence and veneration. It was a common practice in the Old Testament (Ex. 12:27; 1 Sm. 1:19; I Kgs. 18:39; 1 Chr. 19:20). Likewise, in the New Testament, we learn that Jesus knelt down and prayed at the Mount of Olives (Mt. 26:35; Lk. …

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